Chapter 293: Different Kind Of Person
Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations
“Of course, I’m not only interested,” said Musk. He cleared his throat and looked at Lu Zhou as he said sincerely, “I also have to thank you for your research has been a great help to me.”
“I’m happy to help,” said Lu Zhou. Facing Musk’s enthusiasm, he smiled politely.
To be honest, he was a little confused at this sudden encounter.
Even if Lu Zhou’s research results did help Tesla, there was no reason for Musk to specifically come here to visit Lu Zhou.
Maybe because Lu Zhou had been dealing with people trying to buy his patents, whenever he encountered a businessman, his first reaction was to think about the other party’s interests.
He was not suspicious of anyone; this was just his automatic reaction.
“It seems that you two have a lot of interesting topics to talk about. Other than mathematics or rugby, I’m not very interested,” said Francis. He smiled softly and said, “Then, you two take your time, I’ll see you guys later.”
Musk smiled and said, “Thanks, I do want to talk with Professor Lu.”
After Mr. Francis left, Musk sat down next to Lu Zhou and spoke in a thoughtful manner, “When I was studying economics at the University of Pennsylvania, I thought about the future of mankind, the problems that mankind will face. I came to three conclusions: energy, internet, and space exploration.”
Musk looked at Lu Zhou seriously and said, “I’m an engineer, you’re a scholar. From your perspective, what is the key to solving these three problems?”
Lu Zhou felt like he was listening to Shinichi Mochizuki doing a report. They were probably the type of people that got lost in their own imaginative universe. Although there was nothing wrong with this, it was difficult for some people to understand them.
Lu Zhou thought for a bit before he said, “I’m not sure about the internet problem, but for the other two, I think the issue is on the materials.”
The bottleneck of energy and space technology was in many areas and disciplines, so it was not only materials science. However, the interesting thing was that if the materials problem was solved, many other complex problems would become a lot more simple.
Whether it was photovoltaic solar panels, nuclear power generators, lithium-sulfur, or lithium-air batteries, the most crucial part was the materials.
Musk smiled and said, “Then it seems that we have the same opinion. My engineering team also came to this conclusion. We plan on investing $10 billion USD to build a material research institute in Silicon Valley. If you’re interested, I want to hire you as the chief researcher of this research institute.”
$10 billion dollars?!
Lu Zhou was so shocked by this number that he did not even pay attention to the second half of Musk’s statement.
Tesla’s revenue isn’t even this high, right?
“Your idea is interesting. I believe that the materials science community will be thrilled to have a generous billionaire in the field. However, no offense, but how does Tesla plan on getting this money?” asked Lu Zhou. He remembered hearing that Tesla’s financial situation was not good.
Musk said, “We don’t have it now, but we’ll if you come on board.”
Lu Zhou: “…”
He did not know what to say.
Lu Zhou had to admit that for any researcher, Musk’s proposal would be very tempting.
If this was Sarrot, he would not even hesitate for a second. He would definitely take his lithium-air battery project and run to Musk.
However, for Lu Zhou…
He was not that interested.
“I’m sorry, but I’m afraid I can’t help you.”
Musk did not expect Lu Zhou to reject this attractive proposal. He frowned and said, “Are you sure you don’t want to think about it? I can promise that as long as you come on board, you’ll never worry about research funding again.”
“I’m a mathematics professor, and materials science is not my cup of tea. You should find someone else,” said Lu Zhou. He paused for a second before adding, “Also, even if you grant me a large research fund, my research wouldn’t even need that much money.”
Although Musk still wanted to convince Lu Zhou, he saw that Lu Zhou had no intentions to change his mind. Musk could only helplessly sigh as he said, “Okay then, I have to say that you just missed a chance to change the world… Of course, if you ever change your mind, you can find me.”
Lu Zhou said, “Sure.”
Musk gave Lu Zhou his business card. The two then continued to talk for a bit but Musk had lost his enthusiasm.
Musk had previously watched Lu Zhou’s Crafoord Prize interview where Lu Zhou said that he “will use mathematics to change science”. Musk then saw Lu Zhou made a breakthrough in the anode material industry and thought Lu Zhou must be the same type of person as him, but now it seemed that was not the case.
The pair continued to talk for a bit before Musk made an excuse to leave and walked away.
After Musk left, the surrounding area quieted down.
Lu Zhou poured another glass of champagne and tried to enjoy the banquet.
Suddenly, Vera and Hannah returned to the banquet venue.
Lu Zhou could tell from Hannah’s excited face that she solved the problem.
Lu Zhou looked at Vera and asked, “How was the result?”
Vera nodded and said softly, “I gave her an undergrad level complex functions question. Within half an hour, she successfully solved the problem.”
Lu Zhou nodded and looked at Hannah as he said, “Nicely done. Then congratulations, Miss Hannah. You’ve passed my test. Give me your email and tell me the supervisor you want to apply to.”
Lu Zhou was a man of his word.
“Okay! Thank you, thank you so much!” Hannah excitedly nodded her head and took out a paper and pen.
Generally speaking, recommendation letters were directly sent from the professor to the supervisor. The student would never actually read the letter.
Thus, a foreign professor’s recommendation letters were more influential.
Their recommendation letters could determine the future of a student.
However, most professors were happy to recommend their students with potential. After all, watching their students grew to become a brilliant scholar was one of the joys of being a professor.
Vera looked at Hannah walking away and gently squeezed her fists.
She took a deep breath, and finally got the courage to speak, “Professor.”
Having just completed a good deed, Lu Zhou was in a good mood. He asked, “What’s up?”
Vera opened her mouth as if she was about to say something.
However, all of a sudden, a piece of farewell music started to play from the dance floor.
The people from the dance floor started to leave reluctantly.
Clearly, the dance party was over.
It was like Vera missed out on something as her big, bright eyes sadly looked away.
Vera lowered her head and said, “Nothing…”
I just wanted to dance with you…